Every other Tuesday, Svveat Stories brings you Svveatspiration: an inspiring series of first-person narratives from our fitness community’s unsung heroes. This week, wellness blogger Jocelynne Flor shares her fitness journey that started with FOMO and grew into so much more.

Two years ago on a whim, I signed up for a 15-kilometre race less than a month before race day and crossed the finish line with an unfamiliar pain on the outside of my knee. You’re probably thinking, why would you do that to yourself? Well, I did it because everyone was talking about it. And I signed up just so I could say I ran the race.

Photo courtesy Nike Toronto

A few months later, I once again fell victim to FOMO and signed up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon, which happens to be one of the biggest races of the year. Long story short, I didn’t even make it to the start line.

It’s a no-brainer that it’s important to adequately train leading up to a race or fitness event, but the biggest lesson I learned was that no medal, chip time or post-race photo is worth it if your heart isn’t in it. My fear of being left out of an amazing race experience may have (barely) gotten me to the finish line the first time, but it wasn’t a strong enough reason the second time around.

Photo by Jamal Burger, courtesy Nike Toronto

This year, for me, brings new goals and a new mindset: embracing cold-weather running and (finally) tackling the Scotiabank Half-Marathon. The difference between then and now? I’m not doing it just to say I did it.

This time, I’m doing things differently and building a solid foundation with the help of all the great free fitness classes this city has to offer. And this time, I’m doing it for me.

Free fitness helps keep my routine fresh. Adidas Runners Toronto recently hosted a super-fun outdoor interval workout that incorporated running, body weight exercises and an agility ladder. It was like nothing I’ve ever done before, and I think it’s fun to deviate from routine sometimes to stay motivated in your training. The hardest part about training is showing up, and knowing I’ll be seeing friendly, familiar faces every week keeps me coming back—but this wasn’t always the case.

Photo courtesy Nike Toronto

As someone who is highly introverted, the mere thought of stepping into unfamiliar territory gets my heart racing a mile a minute. One day something came over me and I decided to attend a free fitness class alone, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it was one of the best things I did to step out of my comfort zone.

Since then, I have become more confident and I have been lucky enough to make amazing fitness friends who I have watched grow better, faster and stronger over the years. This journey is no longer just about working out for me; it’s about connecting with people over the love of getting our sweat on, and pushing each other to become better in every way.

If you’re new to the fitness scene and afraid to join in, don’t be. Just show up, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Author: Jocelynne Flor. Check out her blog, or find her on Instagram and Twitter.

Has Jocelynne inspired you to begin a fitness journey of your own? Browse through the hundreds of free workouts available each week in Toronto and the GTA on Svveat.

2 comments

  1. Ivy Lagrana

    Jocelynne story is awemazing!!! Her story will truly inspire people out there and conquer their fears. Keep doing what you’re doing Jocelynne because I can tell you that you are on the right track. Kudos!!!

  2. Rezarta

    Wonderful inspiring story Jocelynne!!! Keep up the great work!

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